ATP Cup Kicks off 2022 – Preview and Predictions

AP/John McCoy, file

ATP Cup Kicks off 2022 – Preview and Predictions

We’re just a couple of weeks away from the kickoff of the 2022 ATP calendar. To start us off in style, the first tournament on the calendar will be the ATP Cup. In its third edition, the ATP Cup is another team competition on the calendar. However, unlike the Davis Cup, the ATP Cup offers points and generous prize money to its competitors.

The first edition of the ATP Cup debuted in 2020 with Serbia winning the event. In 2021 it was the Russians who lifted the trophy. The Russians will be the favorites once again with Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev leading the charge. The Russian team is strong, having just captured the Davis Cup in November.

Unlike the Davis Cup where there is a lengthy qualifying process that happens throughout the year, the ATP Cup simply pairs the best teams based on the individual rankings of the players. Because of this, we will see 18 out of the top 20 players in action at the 16-team competition.

The event will be held from January 1st to the 9th. Serbia and Russia will be the top two seeds and favorites to meet in the final. However, because this is a team competition, it is likely that a team that has more than one high-ranking player will have a shot at the title. The team that has the most high-ranking players is Russia with Medvedev (2), Rublev (5), and Karatsev (18). Under these criteria, the next two best teams are Italy with Berrettini (7) and Sinner (10), and Canada with Auger-Aliassime (11) and Shapovalov (14).

Serbia, although being the number one seed, doesn’t look as strong as Russia, Italy, or Canada. Aside from Djokovic, they will count on Lajovic (33) and Krajinovic (42). The number three seed and fourth seed do not fare any better. Zverev (3) will have to count on Struff (51) to play well beyond his ranking if they want to make some noise at this event. Number four seed Greece is in a worse boat, with Tsitsipas (4) counting on nobody inside the top 100 to support him.

That being said, anything can happen at these team events. Although unlikely, we’ve seen team competitions rally around a great player and win. In the end, Russia and Italy may prove too strong for the rest of the field. Look for Russia and Italy in a blockbuster final with Russia defending their title.

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